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Page Title - Order Of Text For Local Business With City


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#1 bobmeetin

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 10:15 PM

Just curious about this for both organic and local searches.  Does it make a difference whether you put a city, location information at the beginning or end of the title?

 

For instance:

 

Geneva, OH - Auto service and repair - business name

 

OR

 

Business name - Auto service and repair - Geneva, OH

 

I'm also wondering about abbreviations - Auto vs automotive and whether/not OH is necessary and if so should it be spelled out?

 

 



#2 qwerty

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 05:11 AM

Google's better at understanding synonyms and abbreviations than they used to be, but as far as I can tell it depends a lot on how competitive the phrase is. If people are searching on Ohio instead of OH, it appears that pages with "Ohio" in the title have a bit of an advantage. And that makes it tough to do this sort of thing dynamically, because people in different locations search with different versions of the names of places. Maybe in Ohio they type out "Ohio," but in Massachusetts they use "MA" or "Mass". If you're optimizing for New York City, do you use that, or NYC, or NY, NY, or what?

 

And Google still gets it wrong sometimes. I spent a lot of time researching job listings for positions that give special considerations for veterans -- it was part of a program that the job sites were working on with the VA. I found on a number of occasions, one of our competitors was ranking well with pages of jobs that weren't meant for vets, but were located in Virginia. Google was seeing "VA" in the title tag and taking it to mean Department of Veterans Affairs.



#3 bobmeetin

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 10:58 PM

It is important to use page title real estate wisely and also to understand how much you have to work with. Google and perhaps Yahoo will display around 68-70 characters, but index up to 95. The other day I saw what a SEO company was proposing to a client. All short titles under 70 characters and with the state abbreviation. 

 

When I said Ohio it was probably a bad example because the name is so short. I can see New York being a mess mess and Massachusetts a bonified dilemma.

 

What you are suggesting and sounds good to is to use the full name if there are enough characters.  So, this professional SEO company seems to have some P's and Q's mixed up. Since they don't understand the character limit their recommendation is broken.


Edited by bobmeetin, 14 March 2013 - 10:59 PM.


#4 qwerty

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 05:04 AM

I'm actually suggesting that, if it's possible, you determine which version of a place name is optimal for each place separately. It's an absolute PITA as it means a lot of research, and it's probably not possible (it wasn't for us) if your titles are generated by filling in the blank on a template.

 

Same situation with place/business vs. business/place. It might be better to use Boston Accountant, but Accountant in Toledo. That's also impossible if you're doing this dynamically, unless you do what one of our competitors did and publish pages that target lots of variations on the same title and heading, even though the on-page content (apart from the heading) was identical. And they seemed to get away with it.



#5 bobmeetin

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 08:36 AM

If you really want to dig in and have budget, I can see a lifetime in researching each, every variation. As a common search engine visitor, I visit google.com and type in:

"keyphrase"

If I get too many results or they seem screwy then I go for:

"keyphrase cityname"

And if I'm desperate, ready to toss in the white flag:

"keyphrase cityname state"

About the only time I use the state abbreviation is when I'm attempting to think sideways and maybe find out another option that placates search engines.  The more I think about this I'm shying further away from state abbreviations unless there is ample budget.

 

I'm not at all saying this is right, but is a common search strategy, to start broad and narrow as necessary.

 

Regarding titles, if there is space available I will put the zip code as well, just as in the footer now that I understand better 'citations'.

 

You lost me with the "dynamic" bit. Be it joomla, drupal, wordpress, magento, zencart, etc you're give a field where you enter the page title, a second for meta description. Please explain how this dynamic thing works.

 

 

"unless you do what one of our competitors did and publish pages that target lots of variations on the same title and heading"

 

 - I saw that earlier this week with a manufacturer's site that is apparently getting away with it. But with a large black/white bird rapping on the door.



#6 qwerty

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 08:51 AM

You lost me with the "dynamic" bit. Be it joomla, drupal, wordpress, magento, zencart, etc you're give a field where you enter the page title, a second for meta description. Please explain how this dynamic thing works.

I'm talking about titles that are written by using a database field to fill in a blank, like [job title] in [city], [state]. If you're building them that way, you don't have the opportunity to choose between various forms of the name of a place. If the database's city table calls New York City "New York" and the state table calls New York State "NY", then the location in the title is going to be "New York, NY" even if "NYC," "New York, New York," or "NY NY" would work better.






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